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South Passage Daily Report

CLIENT: Sail Trek Voyage

VOYAGE NUMBER:  20190609

FROM: Townsville To: Cairns

DATE: 10 June 2019

POSITION: Pioneer Bay, Orpheus Is

REPORT BY: White Watch

Waking everyone up with reveille on the bugle was fun (until I get woken up tomorrow), to the lovely smell of hot baked beans and scrambled egg breakfast, cooked by the wonderful Cath slaving away in the galley, all the while managing a rolling swell hitting South Passage on the beam.

Lifting the anchor using the capstan, like the pirates of old, was fun to be a part of and clearing the anchorage, under a cloudy sky, with a fresh easterly wind blowing, everyone was looking forward to a great days sailing.

After hoisting sail and killing the noisemaker, skipper set a course for Cordelia Rocks to clear the Military Training Grounds. No one wanted to be used as a target for anything! For our own training exercise, the emergency tiller was set up so everyone could see how to manage with steering under extreme conditions. I will say it was interesting but I would not like to do it again in a hurry.

It was amazing how much preparation was needed to change course, particularly for a gybe which skipper decided to do AFTER we went back to normal steering (wise move that one!).

A leisurely downwind run took us to the SW corner of Havana Island where another gybe set us on a brisk broad reach heading towards Orpheus Island. Very exhilarating doing over 8 knots under sail.

After a bit of very skilful manoeuvring and rope throwing by the crew at Yanks Jetty on Orpheus Island, everyone had a couple of leisurely hours swimming (the braver of the sailors), snorkelling and exploring the beach, rocks and surrounding area before being called for dinner on the jetty for a change. Dinner on the jetty provided by the wonderful Cath who excelled herself yet again.

The clouds had cleared to show a very starry sky with a waxing half-moon and a light easterly breeze to push us to our final destination for the day, Little Pioneer Bay, where a serving of custard and peaches went down a treat. Almost the end of our day now with the gentle sounds of snoring coming from the forward cabins which I am sure I will soon be joining. I look back on the day and try to decide what I enjoyed the most. I suppose the experience of working together as a team on the various watches, sail trimming, tacking, gybing. The laughs and the pirate songs while working the capstan. Sailing under the stars knowing that another day lies before us and the thought of something new tomorrow. Smiles and sweet dreams.

Penny on the White Watch.

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